The city of Chicago holds a special fascination for those interested in architectural and urban history. This study connects architectural history with urban history by looking at the work of a major architectural firm, Holabird and Roche, whose impact on the city of Chicago was immense. The firm left an indelible stamp on the city, with projects ranging from tombstones to skyscrapers, and boiler rooms to entire industrial complexes. The book traces the firm's history from its founding in 1880 to the end of World War II. In this volume, the first of two on Holabird and Roche and its successor, Holabird and Root, Bruegmann incorporates research based on the extensive architectural holdings of the Chicago Historical Society, and documents the firm's work from the boom years of the 1880s through the period of sustained growth and innovation after the turn of the century. He devotes chapters to topics as diverse as downtown commercial and retail development, business hotels, civic buildings, automobile showrooms, and suburban clubs and housing, creating a narrative which considers the profound interdependence of architecture and modern urban life.